Our History

Founded in 1972, Flittermouse Grotto is the oldest cave conservation organization in Western North Carolina. It is an Internal Organization of the National Speleological Society, the umbrella organization for caving groups across the United States. From the time of its founding through the present, Grotto members have actively participated in Society activities and have held national offices, chaired Society committees, participated in (and won gold medals in) the Society’s national cave arts salon and have had articles reprinted in its annual Speleo Digest.

Read more grotto history here. (scroll down below Tidewater Grotto).

Our Mission

The Grotto exists to:

  • Further communication, knowledge and fellowship among cavers, cave conservationists, scientific researchers and cave managers in the Southern Appalachian highlands;
  • Encourage the dissemination of accurate, up to date information on caving safety and cave conservation;
  • Allow our members to impart knowledge of safe caving practices, low impact caving methods and sound and effective conservation habits to new cavers and to help them learn and perfect skills that will protect them and the caves in order that caving skills and the conservation ethic will be preserved in future generations of cavers;
  • Help our members maintain and improve their caving skills and knowledge;
  • Serve as a vehicle for organized cave trips in which our members, guests and companions can use and develop their skills and knowledge on a regular and sustained basis.

Meeting and Contact Information

Meetings are held the third Friday of each month at 7PM at various locations. Visitors and guests are welcome. For more information, see Membership.

WNS Alert!

A mysterious infection, dubbed “White Nose Syndrome”, is killing Eastern cave bats. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting ongoing research to help improve our understanding of this deadly fungus. Click here for more information.